Consistent not Common

The Lord is good. His mercy endures forever. His faithfulness endures throughout every generation.
Psalms 100:5 GW

Yesterday, we learned about our being persistent in our prayer.

And in discussing our persistence in prayer, we talked about how all good gifts come from God — and how His good gifts are in contrast to the things of this world that are perishing.

We learned that persistence in prayer is about receiving. Consistency is about abiding, keeping, staying. God demonstrates consistency for us in His goodness, mercy and faithfulness to us.

Another way to look at it is that persistence is striving for what we realized we wanted but did not yet have — and consistency is how we demonstrate that we still want it now that we have it. A child might be persistent about asking for a new “thing” but tire of it quickly and move onto something else. But if that enjoyment remains and they consistently use it and enjoy it year after year, it proves itself to be more valuable to them. In fact, the value may not be as conscious to them as they may still be chasing “new things”, but it’s consistent, abiding presence in their life every day demonstrates clearly to others its value.

I might ask myself, “What am I persistently seeking, and what do I carry consistently with me each day that others can see is most valuable to me?”

I have only been awake for an hour this morning, but there have already been thousands of blessings that I’ve encountered this morning:

  • I woke up healthy.
  • The sun rose.
  • The birds sang.
  • My wife woke up healthy.
  • My daughter woke up healthy.
  • Our dogs woke healthy.
  • The power, water and utilities were all on.
  • The hvac had kept the house confidante through the night.
  • Our house is still providing shelter.
  • Our toilets worked.
  • My body successfully relieved itself of yesterday’s waste to make room for today’s nutrients.
  • I have a good job that I enjoy and that challenges me.
  • Technology allowed me to restart a server (planned outside hours restart) early this morning from the confort of my bed in minutes.
  • I am loved by Almighty God the Father whose mercy provided me a way back into His arms through Jesus Christ the Son, and who provides me each day His abiding presence the the Holy Spirit.
  • My Bible App allowed me to consider, contemplate and study The Word this morning.
  • The WordPress App and connectivity across the globe allows me to share the gospel across every nation, tribe and tongue.

I got up this morning, and so many blessings were present like they are almost every morning. It might be easy to overlook them because they are “consistent” in my life, but my familiarity with these blessings doesn’t make them any less valuable or important. Even just one of these blessings not being present this morning would have impacted my day significantly.

My point is that it may take me stepping back and considering the consistency of God’s goodness that this morning’s verse mentions.

It not only reminds me of who He is, but it sets my heart and mind up in a healthy alignment in order to make contact with the day.

Yes, today will have its challenges, it’s trials, it’s temptations, and it’s struggle — but how much deeper and wider and full is the mercy and love and faithfulness of our God in blessing us every day? Amen.

Be diligent, our heart testify not our mouth

Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. For the word of God is  living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are  naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
Hebrews 4:11‭-‬13 NKJV

Nothing is hidden. Everything will be revealed. Best to reveal it today, best to lay down those chains of bitterness, unforgiveness, guilt, shame, anger, hatred, disobedience, rebellion – and receive grace renewed each day – the forgiveness that washes your garments free from the stain of sin.

Yes, He is the high priest and advocate for those who are called,  for those who hear, for those who recognize His voice,  for those who believe, for those who repent from their old ways and know Him as both Savior from their sin and Lord of their lives. Yes, those who seek Him diligently will find Him. Yes, He loves those who humble themselves and seek His face.

Love is walking according to His commandments

And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another. This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it. For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward. Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.
II John 1:5-9 NKJV

Do we realize that every commandment is meant to keep both ourselves and those around us from harm? There are no harsh commandments that God has laid down upon us as a task master,  but all of His instruction is for good – in fact, it is for the best life for us. All of the commandments and all of the law have their source in loving God wholeheartedly and loving and serving others.

God’s instruction is not a set of rules that we begrudgingly try to obey in order to not suffer consequences. No, that perspective is empty and dead religious practice. When we believe, or perspective shifts to understanding that the Word of God is not a list of facts and rules and laws as much as it is divine instruction and assistance. B.I.B.L.E. “Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth” That is a pretty good perspective to maintain.

So if we believe, we will obey – not out of begrudgingly complying to a set of rules – but out of loving trust that our heavenly Father knows best. If we aren’t obeying,  it is because we aren’t believing, we aren’t trusting. We cannot claim Him as Savior and dismiss Him as Lord,  because it is about our belief, or faith,  our heart,  or desires. So I don’t ask “have you accepted Jesus” or “have you asked Him into your heart”. No, I ask “Do you love Him, obey Him, and seek His will in your life” – and I explain that these are not separable, but are one and the same – just as God the Father,  Jesus the Son,  and the Holy Spirit are one and the same – just different point of views necessary to comprehend the whole truth.

Many are eager to claim Him as Savior,  to grasp intellectually onto the concept of mercy and grace – but are loathe to offer the living sacrifice of making Him Lord and to truly exercise and apply repentance, holiness, and righteousness. And being a Christian isn’t about intellectual ascent – even if that is what contemporary American religion has seemed to grasped onto en masse. He calls us to “Follow me” not just to know about Him. He calls us to “Love God with our whole” not just in part.  He calls for application of His teaching in our lives,  a turn away from the ways of this world, to seek a life more and more,  closer and closer, to His life example.

If He is just your spare tire and not the steering wheel of your vehicle,  I have to ask,  “Have you ever truly come to Christ on His terms?” I have to ask,  “Are you surrendered today, trusting His guidance for your life as best?” I have to ask, “Do you truly know Christ,  our do you just know about Him?”

He is here to be found. He has not left us,  we have just turned away so often to chase after the world. Today, let’s seek His will – not begrudgingly as if following rules and regulations – but believing that Father truly does know best. Or if you do not believe that, if you still believe proudly that you are wiser and know better – then you are better off to admit that you are no Christian at all than to go into eternal damnation calling upon the name of a Jesus you neither know, nor love, nor are seeking.

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.  Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’  And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
Matthew 7:21-23 NKJV

We are called to be followers, disciples, children of God,  Christ’s body serving others in this earth doing His will. We are not called to learn about the narrow gate and then remain outside on the broad way -,we are called to not only enter the narrow gate but walk the narrow path, following His example as the one way,  the one truth,  the one life.

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.  Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Matthew 7:13-14 NKJV

We are to walk in the Holy Spirit of Christ who lives in us. If you do not know that Christ lives in you, lost seeker,  pray to your Heavenly Father that you receive this gift of His mercy,  His grace,  His redemption,  His guidance, and His correction that keeps you on the path so that you might stand before Him one day,  having run your race to the finish, to find salvation instead of judgement. 

“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.  If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish?  Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?  If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
Luke 11:9-13 NKJV

And if you claim with your mouth that you have received this free but costly gift that was paid for by the sacrifice of our loving Lord and Savior – testify to your renewed heart and His presence as Lord of your life by trusting and following Him today. Open up all of the doors and compartments of your life and accept His redemption – as you gratefully follow His guidance and instructions,  as you obey in both your heart and your actions,  as you walk like Christ, whom you are being reconciled to be like, of whom we are His earthly ambassadors.

For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him  thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he  is  a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to  be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
II Corinthians 5:14-21 NKJV

Slow to anger and judgement, yes. But slow doesn’t mean never. Are you ready?

The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, And will not at all acquit the wicked. The Lord has His way In the whirlwind and in the storm, And the clouds are the dust of His feet. The Lord is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him. But with an overflowing flood He will make an utter end of its place, And darkness will pursue His enemies.
Nahum 1:3, 7-8 NKJV

We serve a righteous, holy, perfect God. He calls us to “be perfect as I am perfect”. He offers us forgiveness and healing and tells us to “go and sin no more”. He tells us that if we “sin willfully after having received knowledge of the truth that there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,  but a certain fearful expectation of judgement”. He tells us that “the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God”.

Over and over, He tells us that we are to pick up our cross and bear it,  to follow in His footsteps, to turn away from evil and darkness, to love Him with every fiber of our being. And as if the price that He paid on the cross is not enough,  as if the free gift of grace and freedom from sin is not sufficient, as if He “owes us” more – so many are not interested in a holy,  righteous,  upright,  repentant life because we would rather have our sin and pleasure and things of this world.

Foolish, foolish men and women –  lost and stumbing in the darkness – drunk on the temptations and idols of this world – speaking a name in prayer with their tongues to deceive themselves while proving their true loyalty,  their true master, in the lives they live. Are you just playing religion?  Are you just playing church?  Are you just lying to yourself and others about who it is you serve? Do you not know the deep darkness of your soul? Do you not know that you are far from God? Do you not know that you are still dead and condemned in your sinful service and slavery to that other master?

Turn back to the Lord while there is still time. Do not be lukewarm or complacent or comfortable in the salvation that you are running this race to one day receive. Do not think that because you cannot be plucked from the hand of the Lord that you are allowed to remain in your wickedness. The enemy has no power over you – you are free indeed to make your own choices and decisions – you are no longer controlled by demons that overpower you – your struggle is against your own flesh nature – your trials are opportunities for His Holy Spirit to be manifest into this world through you as His will being done on earth as it is in Heaven – so you no longer have an excuse for your deciding to turn away from the Lord and run back into the darkness.

That sin of your past, bring it to your one and only advocate in Christ Jesus,  and accept forgiveness and freedom – true freedom, to no longer be a slave to sin.  Walk in a new life with Christ as your Lord and Savior. He is not your Savior if He is not your Lord. You cannot serve two masters. Choose today who you will serve, because if Christ has freed you,  you are free indeed,  Christian. Awake. Arise. Surrender your life as a living sacrifice – the inevitable result of true belief, of grattitude, of discipleship to Christ. Walk as a new creation, filled with the Holy Spirit of Christ who lives in you.

Trust in Him. Seek Him diligently in scripture, in prayer, in fellowship with other believers, in a dedication to learn His ways and followin His footsteps. Find Him manifest in your abundant life of love and service to others.

If He is not manifest in your life. If you are still living and serving darkness. Open your eyes to the truth of your blindness. Recognize your need for Him. He is waiting for you,  friend. Leave the slip of the pigs and the vomit of the dogs and return to your Father’s house today.

The call is going out, the trumpet is sounding

The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there  were very many in the open valley; and indeed they  were very dry. And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” So I answered, “O Lord God , You know.” Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord ! Thus says the Lord God to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord .” ’ ” So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there  was no breath in them. Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God : “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” ’ ” So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army. Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’ Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God : “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord , when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the Lord , have spoken it and performed it, ” says the Lord .’ ”
Ezekiel 37:1-14 NKJV

You are called to wake up, sleeping Christian. You are called to rise and walk upright in the strength of His Holy Spirit, of Christ who lives in you. Prepare yourself,  for the Kingdom of God is at hand.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to  the  poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to  the  captives And recovery of sight to  the  blind, To  set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord .”
Luke 4:18-19 NKJV

You have been called, not to sit stationary and unchanged, not hidden amongst the shadows of this world – but to bring the light of Hope, Faith, and Love into a lost, diseased,  sinful, dying world.

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV

You are called both to be a disciple and to make disciples. You are called to be a student of the Word of God,  seeking His face,  His way,  His truth,  His life come alive in you,  today and forevermore.

Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”
Revelation 12:10-12 NKJV

it is the Blood of the Lamb that frees you, the power of His Holy Spirit that empowers you, so that your living testimony can shine the light of His grace and glory into this dark world,  and so that your picking up your cross and bearing the burdens of others will be an undeniable manifestation of Christ alive and at work,  still today feeding His Sheep and leading them through the trials of this world into the peace of eternal life in Christ.

Let our lives be a living testament that Christ lives and moves and serves His faithful today, the same as it ever was.

What we seek, we will find

Seek the Lord , all you meek of the earth, Who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden In the day of the Lord ’s anger.
Zephaniah 2:3 NKJV

“Therefore wait for Me,” says the Lord , “Until the day I rise up for plunder; My determination is to gather the nations To My assembly of kingdoms, To pour on them My indignation, All My fierce anger; All the earth shall be devoured With the fire of My jealousy.
“For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language, That they all may call on the name of the Lord , To serve Him with one accord. In that day you shall not be shamed for any of your deeds In which you transgress against Me; For then I will take away from your midst Those who rejoice in your pride, And you shall no longer be haughty In My holy mountain. I will leave in your midst A meek and humble people, And they shall trust in the name of the Lord . The remnant of Israel shall do no unrighteousness And speak no lies, Nor shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth; For they shall feed their flocks and lie down, And no one shall make them afraid.”
Sing, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away your judgments, He has cast out your enemy. The King of Israel, the Lord , is in your midst; You shall see disaster no more. In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: “Do not fear; Zion, let not your hands be weak. The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”
Zephaniah 3:8-9, 11-17 NKJV

Are your eyes open to see the path?

Let’s shine light on the path set before us –

Hear the instructions of the Lord,
that He has spoken through Zephaniah, the same voice of God today,
that has always been:

1) Judgement is coming
2) Seek the Lord
3) Be meek and not haughty
4) Seek righteousness not sinfulness
5) Seek humility not worldliness/pride
6) Hope to escape the Lord’s anger and wrath that we deserve for our rebellious and prideful ways
7) Wait faithfully upon the Lord
8) Call upon the name of the Lord
9) Serve the Lord
10) Seek forgiveness and repentance
11) Be a meek and humble people trusting in the Lord, not in self or this world
12) Do no unrighteousness
13) Speak no lies
14) Avoid deceit
15) Feed His Sheep
16) Do not fear evil/temptation
17) Rejoice
18) Know the defeat of the enemy
19) Know that the Lord is in your midst,  He is with you
20) Stand firm and bold in Christ Jesus
21) Know the peace of walking in the Spirit

Thus says the Lord God, Christ Jesus, who is God come in the flesh to live a righteous and blameless life of example and instruction, to die upon the cross not only for our forgiveness,  but so that we might come to repentance and become like Him in our own lives today and each day, as we die to self and live for Christ. He is the living Word of God,  who sits at the right hand of God the Father, to welcome those who have hearts to hear and obey the voice of the Lord because they love Him, because they are grateful for the high price paid for the gift of their redemption.

Deep Need, Great Mercy, Amazing Love

I have heard all about you, Lord .
I am filled with awe by your amazing works.
In this time of our deep need, help us again as you did in years gone by.
And in your anger, remember your mercy.
Habakkuk 3:2 NLT

We have heard about Him. In fact so many have heard the name of Jesus in today’s world where there are churches on so many corners. But how many of us are in awe of God when science offers us the answers of men in their attempt to understand and explain the wonders of creation and existence? How many of us recognize our deep need for Him and cry out to Him for help?

The Lord  is righteous in all His ways,
Gracious in all His works.
The Lord  is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.
He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;
He also will hear their cry and save them.
Psalms 145:17-19 NKJV

God is Holy and righteous. And those who call upon the name of Jesus Christ,  who believe and receive the cleansing and redeeming Blood of the Lamb of God are not only forgiven, but receive His Holy Spirit to guide and teach us His desires, His will, His purpose for our lives. Our old ways of slavery to sin and death are cast away and we are free to live a new life being reconciled to be more like Him. We are to be equipped and prepared for His Holy use. Yes, us who were once wretched and wicked and proud and lost and blind – we who were serving another master – are now offered a place in our living heavenly Father’s family.

I will exalt you, Lord ,
for you rescued me.
You refused to let my enemies triumph over me.
O  Lord my God,
I cried to you for help,
and you restored my health.
You brought me up from the grave, O  Lord .
You kept me from falling into the pit of death.
Sing to the Lord , all you godly ones!
Praise his holy name.
For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime!
Weeping may last through the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
Psalms 30:1-5 NLT

We have so much to be thankful for. God has given us eternal life, life abundant, life filled with His ways, His Truth, His life. What can we offer in return for such an unmerited, undeserved gift?

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.  Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Romans 12:1-2 NLT

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
Matthew 22:37-40 NLT

Where will we make our home?

And she said, “Look, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” But Ruth said: “Entreat me not to leave you, Or  to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall  be my people, And your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, If anything  but death parts you and me.”
Ruth 1:15-17 NKJV

He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.
John 14:21-23 NKJV

We choose each day who it is we are making our home with. Are we making our home with the world? Or are we a traveler here in this place making preparations for our eternal home? What we do today,  how we live,  is the reflection of what our heart truly desires – indicates what we truly believe. What will your life say today about where you have chosen to make your home?

As we make decisions about selling our home and moving to the farm,  I hope that our decisions are not as much about the house that we will be constructing – as about the home that we will be making for our family and friends.

Lord, don’t allow us to be satisfied living a life where you have not infiltrated every area of our life. Lord,  create in us a hunger to leave the temporary and worthless things of this world and to cling to the abundant life of a day filled with the fruit of your Holy Spirit. Teach us to love and serve and honor you in our actions, in our service,  from the time we wake up until the time that we go to sleep. Teach us to side step empty religious practice and to instead, dive into a life swimming in your presence. Teach us to love. Teach us to live. Amen.

You can endure

If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
1 Corinthians 10:12-13 NLT

You say, “I am allowed to do anything” —but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial. Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others.
1 Corinthians 10:23-24 NLT

But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies. So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.
1 Corinthians 15:51-53, 58 NLT

Clean hands, Pure heart

Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered. 
Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
Psalm 32:1-2 ESV

We all have had dirty hands before. Did we just leave them dirty,  or did we wash them until they were clean? Did we just run some water over them but not scrub them clean? Or did we diligently wash them with soap and water,  getting all of the filth and grime off of them,  even from underneath or fingernails,  because we know that the filth and germs are not good for us?

Isn’t it the same with our hearts,  our Spirit,  our soul? Isn’t it clear to us that it needs to be washed by the blood of the Lamb,  by our faith and belief and following in Christ’s footsteps,  turning away from the filth and enticements and ways of this world to walk in a new way,  bearing the fruit of His Holy Spirit?

So we must encourage one another,  to not play around with empty religious practice by just running our flesh under the water but never really intending our lives to be delivered,  surrendered, washed clean – but to instead seek that fully surrendered, born again life that is renewed daily by the redeeming power of the blood, by the strength of Christ who lives in us,  by the renewing of our minds as we seek God’s will for our lives.  

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord ?
And who shall stand in his holy place? 
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to what is false
and does not swear deceitfully. 
He will receive blessing from the Lord
and righteousness from the God of his salvation. 
Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah
Psalm 24:3-6 ESV

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which  is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of  himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
Romans 12:1-3 NKJV